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Old December 16th, 2016, 11:27 PM   #1
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Was the KKK ever as influential or 'respectable' as the Masons?


The controversial film 'Birth of a Nation' often seen as a classic by some, romanticised the Civil War and the KKK making out the latter as 'heroic' in its portrayal. Did that film help the popularity of the Klan giving it widespread promotion? Did prominent people join it in the same way they would join the freemasons? Could that be why those who supported the Mason/Dixon line, jim crow laws got their ways because, law makers, senior police, judges, etc and other prominent people were members?

Or did Masons look down at them and distanced themselves from them because of the crude violence and hatred they used and preached? Masons were not allowed to break the law, that could not be said of the KKK.

I read that during the Civil Rights movement Hoover got the FBI to target them and bring them down. So was that because they were influential and had the said influential people supporting them? I was suprised to learn that Hoover was no freind of the Civil Rights activists and saw them as subversives at best, or possible anti american communist agents at worse. However he hated the Klan with the same intensity. Very ironic because he famously refused to send FBI agents to investigate lynchings and racial murders like the Emmet Till case and others claiming it was 'local affairs'. It is more than probable that the Klan would have had some involvement in the said cases
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Old December 17th, 2016, 03:39 AM   #2

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I am no expert on this topic, but I believe the KKK started out as a social club and mutual aid society for Confederate veterans. It was only in the late 19th/early 20th century it became the violent racist organisation we know today.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 04:54 AM   #3
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This has been discussed before. The KKK was never just a social club. It was founded after the Civil War to terrorize blacks and keep them from voting. The KKK was originally a violent organization. It did play an important role in restoring white Democratic rule to the south.

The depiction of the KKK in "Birth of a Nation" is basically accurate, but the movie presents things so as to justify its violence and the prevention of blacks from voting.

The situation was complicated, as there was military occupation. Many whites were prevented from voting due to service to the Confederacy and/or refusal to take loyalty oaths. Most southern states had Republican controlled legislature with many black members. Many of the higher level public officials were "carpetbaggers" from the north.

"Birth of a Nation" was important in leading to the rebirth of the KKK in the 1920s. Much of its support was due to fears about immigrants and the power of the Catholic Church. The original Reconstruction KKK was only about blacks and their political power. It had Catholic and Jewish members.

The KKK is the 1920s was a major political force throughout the south and in much of the north. It was a force at the 1924 Democratic Convention that had a hard time nominating a candidate due to the 2/3 rule. It was hurt by a scandal where the head of the KKK in Indiana, who almost ran the state, was convicted of murder, when a woman he kidnapped, raped, and tortured committed suicide. Membership in the KKK declined for whatever reasons.

The the 1950s and 1960s it experienced a resurgence due to opposition to the Civil Rights movement, and was involved in political violence again.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 07:07 AM   #4

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What the Masons do or want to do is largely secret. The KKK was and is a reactionary movement to re-establish white supremacy in the South and the USA. There isn't much comparison, since they clearly are not exclusive in membership or conduct secret ceremonies.

Any white person who has not proven non-white ancestry can join the KKK. Freemasons are intended to be the best and brightest in every society, who join to do charitable deeds and other stuff.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 07:38 AM   #5

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The Ku Klux Klan, forever and always, was, is, and will be a deplorable collection of white racists lead by the most despicable of demagogues whose only purpose was to intimidate through terrorism, brutality, and murder. There was never any semblance of moral decency or redeeming virtues within that organization. To compare them with ANY social club or mutual-aid society is complete folly.

Even ISIS/ISIL has a long way to go to catch the Klan in the number of innocent people executed for no rational reason.

Compared to Free Masons?? Seriously . . . .
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Old December 17th, 2016, 07:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoryMan View Post
The Ku Klux Klan, forever and always, was, is, and will be a deplorable collection of white racists lead by the most despicable of demagogues whose only purpose was to intimidate through terrorism, brutality, and murder. There was never any semblance of moral decency or redeeming virtues within that organization.
The Birth of a Nation is still a great movie though.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 07:57 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoryMan View Post
The Ku Klux Klan, forever and always, was, is, and will be a deplorable collection of white racists lead by the most despicable of demagogues whose only purpose was to intimidate through terrorism, brutality, and murder. There was never any semblance of moral decency or redeeming virtues within that organization. To compare them with ANY social club or mutual-aid society is complete folly.

Even ISIS/ISIL has a long way to go to catch the Klan in the number of innocent people executed for no rational reason.

Compared to Free Masons?? Seriously . . . .
racism is pretty normal.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 08:34 AM   #8
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In 1870 and '71 Congress passed and President Grant signed three "Enforcement Acts" that expanded federal power to combat the KKK and other groups that were attempting to limit the civil rights of African Americans.

Basically, these are the 19th century equivalent of the Patriot Act, and they treat the KKK as a terrorist organization.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enforcement_Acts
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Old December 17th, 2016, 09:10 AM   #9
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The Birth of a Nation is still a great movie though.
I've seen it about three times and each time I am even more revolted by its lying message than the first time I saw it. It is a tissue of lies in the way it celebrates the KKK or the Knights of the White Camellia. DW Griffith did no one any favors except to enrich himself by bending history so badly. Reference is made to the KKK in Gone With the Wind as well but the message is dealt with rather lightly there. President Woodrow Wilson was a terrible racist and the fact that he loved Birth of a Nation and had it screened in the White House tells me pretty much allI need to know.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 09:27 AM   #10

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People have to come to mind that the Ku Klux Klan was not a single continuous organization that lasted for over 200 centuries. It was in fact a series of different organizations that existed throughout the years under the same name, but all had one characteristic in common: the advocation for white supremacy and Afrophobia sentiment.

The "original Ku Klux Klan" was strictly a terrorist organization. They had been formed by disgruntled ex-Confederate officers that didn't accept defeat and were particularly angry by the fact that they lost many of their political rights for being part of a treasonous movement against the union. They saw the political and voting rights of freed slaves as not only an insult to their white aristocratic "honour" and "pride", but a direct threat to their traditional privilege as white landowners in the South.
Their primary objective was to intimidate, via terrorist attacks, freed slaves to not actively participate in the democratic process and to not vote. Their targets were also Northern Republicans that begun to participate in the political process in the "Reconstruction South".
Of course, that "first KKK" was effectively destroyed by the Federal Government under Ulysses Grant Presidency.

With the popularity of the movie "The Birth of the Nation", a group of affluent southern men created a secret organization which they named the KKK as well. It was not a militant terrorist organization as the first KKK, but a fraternal organization and a political lobby which expouse the perpetuation and expansion of white supremacism ideals in conjunction with anti-Catholicism, Anti-semitism, social conservativism, nativism, anti-communism, populism and support for the temperance movement.
By the 1920s the "second KKK" had over 30 million members and expanded outside the South, penetrating into the Midwest and some parts of Northeast United States.
They were not a terrorist outlaw group but something equivalent to the Muslim Brotherhood during Mubarak's Egypt. They had clubs, property, big businesses, hospitals and were involved in State institutions, influenced State legislation and even infiltrated the federal government during the 1920s.

With the Great Depression, New Deal, WW2 and the mediatized scandals concerning sexual abuse and corruption inside the KKK, they lost steam and millions of members in which by the late 1940s they were virtually non-existent.
The Civil rights movement in late 1950s propelled the creation of a new KKK. That new organization was all about direct violent action against the civil rights movement activists. They resorted to terrorist tactics such as bombings, assassinations, sabotage, kidnappings, torture, etc. They were largely unsuccessful in their tactics and alienated a lot of supporters, even in the white southern pro-segregationist crowd.
Therefore they are largely non-existent nowadays.

Last edited by robto; December 17th, 2016 at 09:52 AM.
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